Agapanthus, in anticipation...

Our agapanthus continue to make slow progress, but at least we have flowers on the way. Six to be precise. All in one pot. Our second pot, which has a smaller number of plants, hasn’t produced any this year. Either way though, we won’t have as many blooms as the photos in this post, which are from the Chelsea Flower Show back in 2015.

agapanthus at chelsea in 2015

Aren’t they great? Our flowers are white, but agapanthus are more usually blue, and the lilac ones here are taking my fancy. I mentioned earlier that our second pot has a smaller number of plants, that’s partly because it’s a year behind the first pot, but also because we lost one of the plants over the winter.

So I have a gap. An potentially a lilac agapanthus shaped gap.

blues and whites at chelsea

I’m off to the garden centre today, and if I’m lucky they may have just what I’m after…

Sleepers two ways

For today’s ‘flowers on Friday’ post we’re back in the pavilion at the 2018 Chelsea Flower Show making a short stop at the Daisy Roots display. The flowers are in full bloom as you’d expect, but look more closely and you’ll see that the sleepers and their versatility that also shine.

The first is the less common way of using sleepers in gardens, but one that’s effective nonetheless. Standing them on end to form a retaining wall was our original intention for where we eventually ended up placing our gabion seating area. Our change of plan wasn’t because we didn’t like the look, but more because of the amount of work, and digging out, that would be needed. And for us it was the right decision, especially as we now know how many tree roots we’d likely encounter.

upright sleepers holding back the flowers

I think it’s a good look, and an effective way of creating a retaining wall, but I think I’d go for a more level top so that it could more easily double up as an impromptu place to perch. In fact it was the challenge of cutting the sleepers that also put us off, research told us that cutting sleepers wouldn’t be an easy feat. When we installed sleepers in our garden a couple of years ago, where we bought them from also cut them to our measurements for a small fee, which was well worth it.

You’ll remember that it quickly became a favourite spot for a cuppa. And it seems I’m not the only one, as there’s a cup and a book on sleeper bench in the photo below, so now it seems this post really should be titled ‘sleepers three ways!’

sunken sleepers, gravel and calming planting

The second - or perhaps third - way of using sleepers on this stand was as sunken ‘stepping stones’ in this gravel garden. I like the look, but it’s not a way that ever occurred to us for our garden. But it’s a great way to get up close to the flowers isn’t it?

An abundance of roses

I’m a relatively new convert to roses, since our cycle trip to the Loire in fact. Before that I’d never really seen their appeal, or rather smelt their appeal. But on that holiday the scent got under my nose, and I started to get it. I don’t have the greatest sense of smell, which I always say to MOH is to his advantage, but even since I’ve learn the roses scent (that sounds better than smell), it’s one that’s stayed with me and I can sniff it out. Not quite a thousand paces, but it’s definitely identifiable, even in a tent full of flowers.

That tent was the Grand Pavilion at the Chelsea Flower Show. But just look at the roses, and how inviting does that bench look?

Roses and a bench to enjoy them from

There were roses everywhere, including these arches.

rose arches at RHS Chelsea in 2018.jpg

And roses clambering over and through ‘abandoned’ stone walls. We know it’s in a tent (or pavilion) but how effective is this, and wouldn’t it be great to incorporate some old architecture like this into our own gardens, just to fill it up with roses?

Roses climbing through stone features in the grand pavilion

If you weren’t convinced before, then this surely has to help?

roses and ruins couldn't look any prettier

Once again nature demonstrates that not everything has to be colour coordinated, with the various shades of roses looking great together. I think sometimes we get a bit too caught up on having everything matching, or matchy-matchy as I often call it.

Pink roses of all colours
Su Pollard whose personality shone through

It was at this stand that I bumped into Su Pollard, who was all too happy to post for a photo as you can see. She was lovely, completely zany, and full of life. I think that comes through in the photo too! And also a fan of roses it seems, not sure I’d wear them in my hair, but her bag now that’s a different matter…